A DRUG-DRIVER was caught nearly four times over the cocaine limit after he was stopped for expired vehicle tax.

Police were on mobile patrol at 5.30am on September 5 when they came across a Ford Transit van being driven by Daniel Roberts, 34, on the A595 at Winscales.

Pamela Fee, prosecuting at Workington Magistrates’ Court, said the vehicle appeared to alter its course and turned off at the Hunday Manor.

Police noticed the vehicle’s tax had expired and pulled Roberts over to speak to him. He appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

A roadside drugs wipe was positive for cocaine. A blood sample was taken in custody which revealed Roberts had 39mcg of cocaine per litre of blood. The specified limit is 10mcg.

Ms Fee said other drugs were found in the defendant’s system but these were under the limit.

Roberts, of Derwent Street, Workington, pleaded guilty to driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.

John Cooper, defending, said: “It’s quite a bad record.

“I have dealt with Mr Roberts since he was a teenager. I have not seen him for a number of years.

“He was doing well in full-time employment for a fencing company. He is hopefully going to keep his job.

“There’s nothing about the manner of driving. It was a road tax issue. That was the reason for the stop. It’s the number of drugs in the system that causes the issue.”

Roberts was banned from driving for 23 months. He was given a 12-month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant was also ordered to pay £85 costs and a £114 victim surcharge.